Adecco talks: Resenteeism, new federal overtime rules, and earned wage access

Learn about the trends and research we're talking about this month.

5 minutes

June 19, 2024

A worker sits at a conference table with coworkers. They look bored and annoyed

Resenteeism: Meet the latest “Quiet Quitting” trend

Quiet quitting is so last year.

Today, resenteeism is the new trend workers are discussing online. A combination of “resentful” and “absenteeism,” this word refers to frustrated workers who want to quit their jobs but say they’re not able to leave because of finances, a tight job market, or other practical reasons.

47%  Gen Z workers report “coasting” at work. Source: CNBC/SurveyMonkey Workforce Survey;  7% decrease Older Millennials feeling engaged at work since March 2020. Source: Gallup;  2:1 Roughly 2 engaged Gen X workers for every 1 disengaged, Source: Gallup

During and after the COVID-19 pandemic, many workers left their jobs to pursue a more meaningful career path. Resenteeism is for those who decided not to risk it and now feel trapped and angry.

A recent Gallup study found that Baby Boomers have become more engaged at work since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. That means older workers are feeling valued, supported, and have a clear understanding of their role and their growth opportunities.

However, every generation after reports a decline in engagement at work. The number of Millennials (born between 1980 and 1988) who reported being engaged decreased from 39% to 32%, and the drop for younger Millennials and Gen Z (born after 1989) went from 40% to 35%.

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New federal overtime rules

The US Department of Labor (DOL) is implementing its most recent “Final Rule” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) pertaining to exempt employees. It will directly impact millions of salaried workers. The policy will increase the minimum salary threshold for certain exempt employees effective July 1, 2024, with another update to follow January 1, 2025.

Employers have a small window in which to review the job duties of all exempt staff below the new thresholds and then decide whether to increase salaries to the new threshold levels or reclassify the employees to non-exempt, which would make them eligible for overtime pay for hours worked beyond 40 per week. 

For employers, it’s critical to understand the rules to stay compliant. The decisions as to how your business will prepare for the rule change ahead are not easy ones.

Workers classified as exempt under the Executive, Administrative, and Professional exemptions earning less than: Currently $684/week ($35,568/year);  July 1, 2024: $844/week ($43,888/year); January 1, 2025: $1,128/week ($58,656/year)

Starting July 1, 2027, the salary thresholds will be updated every three years, based on current wage data.

Economic impact

Assuming that the job duties satisfy the exemption requirements, employers have critical questions to ask themselves. If workers routinely work over 40 hours per week and the cost of overtime is likely to exceed the new minimums, then increasing salaries might be their best solution. However, if overtime is rare, reclassifying employees to nonexempt status and paying overtime might be the right option.

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What is earned wage access?

Earned wage access allows employees a portion of their wages before payday. There are major benefits for workers using these programs: If an unexpected repair bill or a family emergency comes up, earned wage access allows them to use money from their upcoming paycheck to cover it.

For example, at Adecco, many of our associates on assignment have access to DailyPay, and the majority of the transfers are for paying bills, covering transit costs, or buying food.

89% of workers reported increased motivation and productivity when they could access their pay on their own schedule

Earned wage access programs can also provide benefits to employers and their organization as a whole.

Increased employee retention: Earned wage access can increase tenure rates by up to 63%, leading to reduced turnover costs and higher employee morale.

Enhanced employee engagement: Financial pressures take a toll, but earned wage access can help employees feel more supported at work and lead to higher retention rates

Improved customer outcomes: Motivated employees can be relied on to deliver a more thoughtful experience, enhancing overall satisfaction for your customers.

It’s important to note that implementing an earned wage access program requires a complex landscape of legal and operational concerns.

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Additional trends we saw in May

  • The US added 272,000 jobs, far exceeding economists’ expectations
  • Unemployment rose slightly from April’s 3.9%, hitting 4.0% for the first time in more than two years
  • Wages, seen as a key indicator of inflation pressures, rose by 0.4% in May. They rose 4.1% annually, bucking a downward trend in growth from the previous month

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Let’s schedule a 1:1!

Policy changes, high turnover, and employee disengagement: Adecco can help you address the challenges impacting your workforce.

Reach out today to learn more about our commitment to creating a better world of work by focusing on compliance, safety, and worker well-being.